The Mint Shop

The Mint Shop

Monday, 21 March 2011

Granola in the sun

Okay, I admit it.

Despite having trumpeted that I never suffer any jet-leg, this time it has it me. I was just going to stagger pretending that I hadn't traveled through 8 hour zones. And it has been a week already since we got back from sunny California.

Not being particularly inspired at work might contribute to my morning laziness. I have never liked early mornings. I know that I miss the best part of the day but I just cannot wake up earlier than 8.30am - unless I have a plane to catch and Ryanair diabolically always gives away the best flights at dawn.

I do set the radio alarm for 7am but this undisturbedly goes on chatting with no sign of life from the bed. I should probably be the most well informed person of the morning news - if I listened to it. I eventually get out of bed around 9.15 (having heard the news for the third time) and walk downstairs - trudge, trudge, trudge - to make myself a bowl of super porridge with cinnamon and ginger.

So I had to find a good reason to move my lazy bones and spring up. The answer came from San Francisco: granola.

In California (not sure about the rest of the U.S.) you can find every type of granola. But what is granola? Granola consists of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes rice usually baked until crispy, and often dried fruit or nuts are added (thanks Wikipedia!). I literally counted the varieties once in a supermarket (or produce stores as they are called there) and there were over 20.

My favourite is with mixed seeds and almonds. You do need a generous dose of energy to face the dampness and hills of San Francisco. Our Saturday while we were there it was beautiful but Sunday was more like a typical English afternoon. (*People's astonishment at the sun and blue sky should have been a good clue*).

The recipe is in cups. Before scales got invented in America.

Granola with seeds and nuts

1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup vegetable oil or runny honey
1/2 light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheatgerm
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

To help those of you who are on modern grams: 1/4 cup is 50g (almost); 1/2 cup is 110g.

1. Preheat the oven at C160

2. Combine the oats, oil, sugar, cinnamon and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. Once baked, add the seeds, coconut and nuts. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Easy! The trick is to make sure that you toss the oat a couple of times after a few minutes they have been in the oven with the honey so that they coat but do not become a huge big block.

I like it with yogurt and fresh fruit (strawberries in California of course!) to feel extra healthy. As I said before, Californian are really into good food and fitness. Of course you can find the odd burger and chips here and there but they are *gourmet*, *deconstructed* or from locally sourced produces.

I must go to bed. Nite nite.

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